Kaunsi Kanada by Michael Robinson (Azure Miles Records)

- CDeMusic

Michael Robinson: Kaunsi Kanada (Azure Miles Records)

Michael Robinson performs an electronic interpretation of the midnight raga, Kaunsi Kanada. He writes: "For myself, the essence of Kaunsi Kanada is a deep and mystical love along with wonderment for the mystery of the deep night ...

The musical realization of Kaunsi Kanada turned out to be a monumental task, involving the programming of over 30,000 ud swaras and percussion bols. It is a great pleasure for me to finally dedicate a recording to Ustad Zakir Hussain, one of the true musical giants of our time. No one has inspired my percussion writing more than Hussain, and his November 1999 performances in Los Angeles with L. Shankar and Vinayakram were still resonating in my memory while writing Kaunsi Kanada.

There is a long tradition in India of musicians only passing on their musical knowledge to blood relatives or those accepted into the gharana. Stories have been passed down of those who hid outside a master's window in order to listen secretly to the music which he would not be allowed to learn directly. I have experienced some of this myself including being given disinformation (!) because I am not Indian and use an original approach to the raga form, not to mention unconventional instruments. However, with all the recordings available one may still 'sit secretly outside the window' and learn that way if necessary! To those who have been generous enough to pass on their musical knowledge directly, I am greatly thankful."

In Robinson's realization, the main melodic voice is played by oud sounds. The raga begins with a 15 minute quiet, gentle alap, and then very slowly, moves into a beautiful rhythmic exposition. Incisive rapidly repeated figures highlight the latter sections of this lovely work.

Note that Robinson releases his own audiophile quality direct-to-disk recordings on CD. He decorates his CDs with beautiful Japanese rice paper. And instead of labeling, he personally autographs the gold disks.

- CDeMusic (2000)

CDeMusic was part of the Electronic Music Foundation founded and led by Joel Chadabe


Please note that Azure Miles Records CDs are no longer autographed, now having the album info printed.